Austin bomber ‘not a terrorist’?

Austin bomber Mark Anthony Conditt has reignited a familiar conversation on who is and is not labelled a 'terrorist' by the media and politicians.

The man believed to have been behind a string of bombings that killed two people and injured five in Austin, Texas, died on March 21 after blowing himself up in his vehicle as law enforcement closed in.

The suspect has been identified as Mark Anthony Conditt, a 24-year-old white male. This has reignited a familiar conversation on who is and is not labelled a “terrorist” by the mainstream media and US politicians.

The explosions began on March 2, when a package bomb killed 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House on his front porch in Austin. Over the next two weeks, five other bombs were detonated — all of which were constructed by the same individual, law enforcement officials said on March 21.

Before the bombing suspect’s death, the White House released a statement claiming “there is no apparent nexus to terrorism at this time”.

Now that the suspect has been identified as a white male, many commentators predicted that lawmakers, the media and law enforcement would likely follow the White House line that the suspect is not a terrorist. They say this line would be radically different from the beginning if the suspect was not white.

In a Twitter thread on March 21, Christian Christensen, a journalism professor at Stockholm University, observed: “U.S. media and politicians have been very, very quick to apply the terrorism label when suspects are not white, because such an application carries no social or professional blow-back if they are wrong.”

“When ‘other’ people who kill innocent civilians with bombs and blow themselves up instead of being captured by the police, media, politicians and Twitter have no problem immediately talking ‘radicalization’ & ‘terror’.

“When it's this guy? ‘Wait for the facts’.”

[Abridged from Common Dreams.]

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